The Best VPNs for Singapore
You don’t want to be without a good VPN in Singapore; check out our list of the best below.
When preparing for our trip to Singapore, we were excited about the delectable cuisine and the city-state’s mixture of history and modernity. However, we weren’t looking forward to invasive laws and internet censorship. As it happens, Singapore has a long history of spying on its citizens’ internet activities and a penchant for tracking and logging web activities. We were a little intimidated, in fact, and worried about our privacy. So, we turned to our reliable roster of VPNs to determine which provider would work best during our visit.
Best Singapore VPN Overall
Citing national security concerns, Singapore tries to make citizens’ and tourists’ browsing habits its business. It controls what websites private citizens can access and restricts access to any websites it sees fit. As 89 percent of individuals in Singapore have internet access,1 maintaining such blocks is a massive undertaking. Technically, the city-state’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) determines which websites should be blocked, most frequently targeting media libraries, controversial newspapers, and adult content.2
While IMDA claims it doesn’t monitor individuals’ access to online content, the government and Internet Service Providers do seem to be in lockstep with one another. And while there are laws protecting privacy, most of these are written with such vague language that the business and technology hub feels free to use spyware to monitor its citizens’ internet usage.3 Additionally, while Singapore is not an official member of Five Eyes, it reported collaborates with this organization4 (along with Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes). This means that companies under its jurisdiction can be forced to hand over user data to the U.S, which is where a VPN comes in handy.
Comparison of the Best VPNs for Singapore
Private Internet Access VPN
|Number of Servers in Singapore||Over 110||48||189||47||142|
|Number of Servers Worldwide||Over 5,400||3157||Over 3194||568||6500|
|Member of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Logs Traffic/Web Activity||No||IP address, when and where VPN was used||No||Collects timestamps||Collects total bandwidth consumed|
|Split Tunneling||No||Yes, but with exceptions||No||Yes||Yes|
|Monthly Plans Cost Range||$3.71 - $11.95||$2.95 - $12.99||$2.19 - $11.95||$0 - $29.12||$1.32 - $10.95|
|Customer Support||Live chat support 24/7||Live chat, tickets, phone number||Online form, live chat||Email, social media||24/7 support|
|Contract Lengths||Monthly, yearly or 2 years||Monthly, yearly, and 3 years 3 months||Monthly, yearly or every 3 years||Yearly||Monthly, yearly or every 5 years|
|Location of Headquarters||Panama||Bucharest, Romania||Greenwood Village, Colo., USA||Geneva, Switzerland||Hong Kong|
|Read Review||NordVPN Review||CyberGhost Review||Private Internet Access VPN Review||ProtonVPN Review||PureVPN Review|
Detailed List of the Best VPNs for Singapore
1. NordVPN - Best Singapore VPN Overall
What We Like
- Over 110 servers in Singapore
- Unblocks popular streaming websites
- Chat support available 24/7
What We Don’t Like
- No split tunneling
- Torrenting only supported on some browsers
- Static IP addresses
- Poor customer service (phone support only)
Reliably Fast Speeds
Simply put: when it comes to VPNs, speed matters. Every VPN, of course, slows down a device to some extent, but if it slows things down too much, torrenting, streaming, or even just surfing the web becomes a chore. Luckily, NordVPN maintains one of the fastest VPNs in Singapore. When we tested Windows devices running the VPN against those that weren’t running it, we found that latency increased by only 10 percent. Downloads were only 24 percent slower, and uploads only 20 percent. Those numbers are all well below the industry averages.
High Encryption Standards
NordVPN takes a page out of the National Security’s Agency’s (NSA) book by offering AES encryption with 256-bit keys. AES means advanced encryption standards, and it’s an algorithm that’s used to encrypt and decrypt private information on VPNs. It’s measured in bits: 256-bit is a high standard, and it creates 2^256 possible combinations, which would require supercomputers and billions of years to decrypt. Overkill? Absolutely, but we love the sense of privacy and security it provides. Bottom line: if it’s good enough for the NSA, we trust it to hide our data from the Singapore government.
NordVPN’s fast speeds help make streaming a pleasure, wherever we might happen to find ourselves. But in Singapore, NordVPN is an absolute necessity since it opens up a much wider world of content libraries. Sure, we got Netflix and Prime Video while we were in the country. But we didn’t have access to lots of our other favorites, including Disney+, HBO Max, and Hulu. With NordVPN, though, we chose servers in other countries including the U.S., so it was easy to access enough content to satisfy even our insatiable love of TV and film, making it one of the best VPNs for Netflix.
2. CyberGhost - Best VPN for Netflix in Singapore
What We Like
- 48 servers in Singapore
- Non-member of Four Eyes, Five Eyes and 14 Eyes
- Impressive speed tests
- Kill switch
What We Don’t Like
- Logs IP address, time and country of use, and other sensitive information
- 1-day free trial
- No split tunneling
- High-security servers come at higher costs
With CyberGhost, we could access Netflix libraries from around the world. Turns out, every country’s Netflix content is just a bit different. And while Singapore does permit Netflix to operate, the library includes only 3,268 titles. America tops 5,600, and Japan has over 6,000.1 We desperately needed a fix of The Office, but could find nothing via normal channels. Thankfully, CyberGhost got us plugged into a U.S. server and back watching Michael Scott’s hijinks in no time at all.
In our position, we tend to collect electronic devices of all shapes and sizes. With all the operating systems and internet platforms available these days, we prefer VPN providers that offer optimization and specific apps for as many devices as possible. CyberGhost offers support for:
- Linux desktop apps
- Firefox browser apps
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Android TV
- Apple TVs
The wide availability of apps across all these platforms meant that we were covered whether we wanted to browse for dinner locations on our Android phone or stream movies on our iPad.
Strict Logging Policy
CyberGhost collects both personal and non-personal data, but none of it is overreaching. Personal data they collect includes general registration information such as:
- Payment information
- Email address
Non-personal information includes:
- Preferred language
- Device being used
- O,S version
- Screen resolution.
What’s more important is that CyberGhost doesn’t monitor, store, log, or collect:
- Web destinations
- Browsing histories
- Search preferences
- Posts created
- Search preferences.
Most impressively, CyberGhost doesn’t have logs related to:
- Device’s IP address
- Connection timestamps
- How long we browsed.
3. Private Internet Access - Best VPN for Torrenting in Singapore
What We Like
- 189 servers in Singapore
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Supports 10 devices simultaneously
- Highly accessible
What We Don’t Like
- No third party security audit
- No split tunneling
- Slow customer service response times
Private Internet Access provides an excellent set of tools for torrenting, which is great because we like to keep our devices stocked with things to watch. After all, you can’t always count on having a streaming connection. Of course, Private Internet Access also keeps us safe while we’re torrenting; their AES-256 keeps us encrypted in the VPN, and their kill switch means our activity stops if the VPN happens to drop. All in all, PIA is one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
Unblocks Restricted Content
Singapore has blocked a ton of websites, including some local online newspapers and other journals, which is a huge infringement on freedom of the press. We weren’t just tourists who wanted to hit the hot spots; we also wanted to learn about the ins and outs of Singapore, as if we were locals. To assist us, Private Internet Access bypassed government censorship and restrictions by replacing our device’s IP address with that of another’s country server. Additionally, Private Internet Access enabled us to pass firewalls with its Swiss gateways.
Ten Devices Under One Subscription
Private Internet Access covers an impressive ten different devices under a single subscription. At first we thought, why would anyone need a VPN installed on ten different devices? Turns out, we think like single people because we’re, well, single people. Our many friends with families tell us that travel isn’t possible unless every member of the family can be plugged into their own content on their own device.
4. Proton VPN - Best Free VPN in France
What We Like
- Swiss-based, outside of privacy jurisdictions
- 47 servers in Singapore
- Free option (learn more on our page on ProtonVPN’s subscription costs)
- Open source and third-party audited apps
What We Don’t Like
- Only 568 servers worldwide
- Slow streaming and torrenting
- Unusual pricing structure
- Limited device compatibility
While ProtonVPN’s free option isn’t perfect, it’s the best free model available. It includes no data limits and no advertisements. It doesn’t log online activity. Plus, it’s Swiss-based, firmly outside of Five Eyes, Four Eyes and 14 Eyes jurisdictions. For us, the free option was enough to get us by during our trip to Singapore, but if we had a permanent residence there, we’d want to pay a little extra for some more attractive features, such as faster speeds, support for torrenting, and the ability to access censored content.
ProtonVPN’s Secure Core feature is essentially the company’s name for its multi-hopping capabilities, but with a few more frills. First, some background information: the secure core servers are located in Iceland, Sweden, and Switzerland in data centers, and only operate on ProtonVPN’s network of servers. Secure Core helps prevent network-based attacks by routing connections through multiple servers before leaving ProtonVPN’s network. That means that any hackers trying to get their hands on our information weren’t able to find our device’s real IP address or identify our browsing activity.
Always-On Kill Switch
ProtonVPN’s kill switch came in handy last time we were in Singapore in particular. When we suddenly lost our VPN connection in the middle of torrenting, we had visions of spending the next several years in a Singapore prison. In fact, penalties are not nearly so severe, but they do involve restricted internet privileges. where access to certain sites could get our browsing privileges restricted. However, ProtonVPN made sure that our activities shut down when we lost our connection. That prevented our IP address and browsing activities from being exposed to the government, or to anyone else who happened to be snooping.
The More You Know: ProtonVPN was founded in 2014 by scientists working at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, home of the world’s largest particle accelerator. Its founding was meant to mark the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, also created by scientists at CERN.
5. PureVPN - Most Affordable VPN in Singapore
What We Like
- Self-managed network of servers
- Hong Kong-based, outside of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes privacy jurisdictions
- 56 servers in Singapore
- Built-in ad blocker
What We Don’t Like
- Inconsistent speeds
- Mixed reviews about customer support
- More secure features cost more money
- Only allows five simultaneous connections
Singapore can be a bit pricey, and we knew our pockets were going to be hurting toward the end of the trip. As a reliable VPN is a travel necessity, we decided to get ahead of the curve and try a budget-friendly option to lessen the financial burden. There’s no competition when it comes to package pricing. Prices for PureVPN start at just $1.32 and max out at $10.95 per month.
Though it doesn’t offer the speediest connection, PureVPN can unlock and stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ in HD. Faster streaming was possible with the use of a specially-optimized streaming profile. Even better, PureVPN features a convenient server-selection page that allowed us to type in the website we wanted to unblock and supplied us with a list of servers that could unblock it for us.
Dedicated IP Addresses
PureVPN is one of the few VPNs to offer a dedicated IP address. Available for an extra $3.99 per month, we especially liked this because we log in and out of secure websites so frequently. Most VPN IP addresses change each time we log in to a server, so we’re forced to confront the annoying Captcha questions again and again. With a dedicated address, our bank always knows who we are because we always show up with the same address.
How We Test VPNs: Methodology
We put every VPN we recommend through a battery of tests to see how they rank in terms of speed, kill switches, split tunneling, encryption, bandwidth, and privacy. Of course, for a list of the best Singapore VPNs, we were most interested in the number of servers each provider offered in Singapore itself. Only after we’ve considered all of these factors do we feel confident in saying that these are the best VPNs for Singapore.
We tested all of the VPN providers on a private Optimum network in our Brooklyn office. We put our Macbook Air and Windows Vivobook or Acer Aspire 5 through speed tests without a VPN to get a baseline number, then compared that number to speed with a VPN. We tested download and upload speeds along with ping (latency). Ultimately, we calculated the difference between the two numbers as a percentage. That way, we can say with certainty how much a VPN will affect any given machine.
If a VPN has a no more than a 40 percent difference in a category, we’re confident in recommending it. But while we’re secure in our findings, there’s so many factors that can impact speed test results (device used, operating system, distance to the server), so we always remind our readers to conduct speed tests of their own, just to make sure.
VPNs are designed to protect web traffic and browsing data, to conceal our device’s IP address and what websites we visited. They can only do that if they are free from leaks. We use ExpressVPN’s website to test for WebRTC leaks. In addition, we use a program at DNSLeakTest.com to check for any DNS leaks. Another factor we take under consideration is what privacy jurisdiction a VPN provider falls under (if any). While we prefer companies that are located in areas that don’t fall under Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes jurisdiction, a strict logging policy can sometimes compensate for a vulnerable location. In the end, we always let our readers know the location of the VPN provider we’re reviewing so they can decide how important a company’s location is.
Most VPN providers hold some degree of personal data (email addresses, payment information or usernames), so we do our best to find the companies that don’t hold overly-sensitive information. We don’t tolerate VPN providers that hold information about how long we used the VPNs, when we accessed it, our web activity, or our device’s IP address. Finally, we review the VPN’s internet protocols and encryption methods to see how they compare to industry standards. The most common (and secure) forms of encryption protection are AES-256 and OpenVPN. We try to recommend VPNs that all include a kill switch and dynamic IP addresses, which are tough to track.
Considering how media libraries vary across the globe and how some countries have a lot less content than others, VPNs for streaming and VPNs for torrenting are important. VPNs mask our device’s IP address to appear as if we’re accessing the media library from another country, enabling us to access more TV and movie titles. We also prefer VPNs with split tunneling, which allows access to private and public networks simultaneously, in addition to double or multi-hop VPNs, which encrypt data multiple times through many servers to add layers of protection.
We also try to supply thorough information for our readers about pricing. VPN providers have a wide price range, but typically they fall between $5 and $10 per month, with some going upwards of $20 per month. Monthly plans are nice because they offer flexibility and short commitments.
However, what two or three-year plans lack in leniency they often make up for with price, as most annual plans offer bigger discounts as potential users upgrade their term lengths. Finally, we know how important trial periods and money-back guarantees are, along with contract lengths, so we make that information as clear as possible to our readers by supplying them with information about server switches, simultaneous connections, and how many devices are allowed overall to ensure that they get the most bang for their buck.
VPN companies are known for their privacy and security features, not customer service, and it shows. Most VPN companies offer some combination of email addresses, 24/7 live chats, and online ticket submissions. However, some providers offer phone support, which makes them stand out in our book.
We test each VPN provider’s app on both Android and iOS devices, and we also research their ratings on each operating system’s app store. We don’t recommend any apps that are rated below three stars.
Why do I need a VPN in Singapore?
You need a VPN in Singapore because the government and its corporate partners restrict access to a variety of news, media, and adult content websites, and monitor and track users’ browsing history and data. Furthermore, while the country doesn’t technically fall under Five Eyes jurisdiction, they have a history of cooperating with U.S. surveillance groups.
How do I get a VPN in Singapore?
You can get a VPN in Singapore by signing up and paying for a VPN provider that has servers in Singapore or, if you’re a citizen, look for providers that offer servers in countries with fewer internet regulations. After choosing a provider, simply download the app or extension, log into your account, and connect to a server.
Are VPNs legal in Singapore?
Yes, VPNs are legal in Singapore as long as you’re not conducting any illegal activity on them. Protecting your browsing history and ensuring privacy is fine, but bypassing copyright laws and committing piracy could land you in legal trouble.
What devices do VPNs work on?
Primarily, VPNs work on mobile phones, desktops/laptops, routers, and tablets.
The World Bank. (2021). Individuals using the Internet (% of population).
Infocomm Media Development Authority. (2021). Internet.
Digital News Asia. (2015). Singapore is using spyware, and its citizens can’t complain.
The Sydney Morning Herald. (2013). Singapore, South Korea revealed as Five Eyes spying partners.
Finder. (2021). Netflix Singapore vs the world.